OK, this Tetch guy is really starting to bug me…
Normally, I can write these up in such a way to actually minimize whatever Jim Gordon is doing. Why do that? Because he’s the least interesting character on the show. OK, there may be some others that don’t seem to serve a purpose, but he’s the ostensible series protagonist, and his main character trait is he’s kinda angry all the time. Barbara might serve less of a purpose, but at least she’s kinda annoying. Annoying is a personality trait.
But then there are episodes like this one where the more colorful members of the supporting cast are limited to some scenes involving the Penguin doing mayor stuff while getting ready to tell Eddie he’s in love with that riddle-loving nerd, only for Ed to meet a woman who looks exactly like his dead love interest Miss Kringle…only this one likes riddles.
And aside from some interesting advice given to a grade schooler about how to be popular, that is basically all the Penguin is doing this time around.
Instead, that jerk Tetch is using his hypnosis skills to lead Gordon on a chase across the city to save lives. Save the newlyweds or the small child in traffic? Gordon opts for the child. Save Valerie or Lee? OK, that one is harder. Plus, Valerie can’t turn off the “get the story” aspect of her character. It’s like she’s just there to do her job all the time, to the point where she seems to be trying to interview Lee while the two are being held hostage by Tetch and the surviving Tweed brothers.
If anything, the episode here shows…Gordon kinda sucks at following clues left by madmen. Tetch is one step ahead of him the entire time, setting up traps for people, and sure, it might be helpful to bring Barnes, Bullock, and the G.C.P.D., but Gordon figures they’d make too much noise and settles for just taking Lee’s fiancé Mario. Since Tetch is holding a freakin’ tea party in Lee and Mario’s house, that makes a lot of sense. But that doesn’t work either as Tetch switched the bullets in the gun Mario had for blanks.
Even saying what Tetch wanted to hear–that yes, Gordon was responsible for Alice Tetch’s death–doesn’t really work, and when Gordon is told to say which woman he loves most so Tetch can shoot her, he says nothing. He does blurt out a “Lee” when Tetch asks which one Gordon hates more, so Tetch shoots Valerie because, again, he’s a jerk.
Then he somehow gets away.
I’m sure Valerie will be fine if for no other reason than she got shot in a house where two doctors live. But here’s a question: why didn’t Gordon say Barbara was the one he loved most? She did apparently fill Tetch in on Gordon’s personal details while saying that of course Gordon loved her most and he was going to come back to her at some point. And since she wasn’t there, that would have surely thrown an unexpected monkey wrench into Tetch’s plans.
Cripes, do I have to think of everything? No wonder this city needs a masked vigilante detective to save the day…